Yeah, That’s Buff: The Hội-An Special from Bánh Mì Hội-An image


Yeah, That’s Buff: The Hội-An Special from Bánh Mì Hội-An

YTB, the series where we celebrate a thing we’ve eaten like an England fan in the summer of 2018.

Bánh Mì Hội-An is a small Vietnamese café in Hackney Central. It specialises in bánh mì, but also serves rice bowls, phở, and noodle salads. You can check their website here or find us queuing outside.

What is it?

A £7.50 submarine-sized bánh mì from Bánh Mì Hội-An in Hackney Central. There are three different types of pork (char siu, belly, and Vietnamese caramel hunks), paté, omelette, pickled carrots and cucumber, coriander, and some sriracha for good measure.

How does it make you feel?

Like a part-time javelin thrower and a full-time fluffer. You grip, you inspect, and then you do the dirty. The triple threat of pork is an enormous success. You don’t see chicken turning up roasted, fried, and poached in a sandwich, do you? It just works with pork. Kind of like the Olsen sisters. You like the three of them individually but when they all turn up on a sriracha-red carpet together, wow. If anything, it all works too well. The smear of paté offset by lightly pickled veg, the bouncy egg, the pork triplets, the simultaneously crunchy and airy roll. Every bite makes you want another bite, but every bite also makes you want unlimited bites. You are literally biting away at the thing you want to bite forever. A delectable dilemma.

What’s the technique?

First up, a resting position. Bánh Mì Hội-An is takeaway-only at the moment, so you’ll want to have a bench, a stoop, or a favourite bit of pavement in mind. This isn’t something to scoff on the road, but each to their own. Secondly, it comes in a paper bag for a reason: do not, do not, remove the submarine from the bag. Not only because this is not the climate to be an impassioned disciple of the five-second rule, but also because what you’ve got there is a shrapnel catcher. Got a deserter in the shape of omelette? A truant bit of char siu? Don’t worry, they’re not going anywhere.

How buff is it?

Call it Warren Buffett, because it’s rich and (fairly) generous.

tiramisu at Page Common Coffeehouse

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